Welcome the Word into Your Life!

Colossians 3 16 NASB

Colossians 3:16, NASB

Have you ever stayed as a guest in a home where the people made you feel very unwelcome and unwanted? I have have and it is an awkward and uncomfortable feeling. The Apostle Paul states that we must welcome the Word of God to reside in our life! Let’s take a look at Colossians 3:16.

In my time of reflective study I focused on the phrase “Let the word of God dwell richly within you.” The word dwell is taken from the word “enoikeo.” The word enoikeo is a compound of the words en and oikos. The word en means in, and the word oikos is the Greek word for a house. When the two words are compounded together, they form the word enoikeo, which means to dwell in a house. This is the same Greek word used in both the New Testament literature and secular literature to signify someone who takes up permanent residency in a home. The person is so at home and contented in this new location that he has chosen to make it his permanent dwelling place for the rest of his life. 

So when Paul tells us to let the word of Christ “dwell” in us, he is exhorting us to give God’s Word such a grand, welcoming reception that it literally feels at home in us and therefore comes to take up permanent residency!

The word for “richly” literally can be translated extravagantly. This is important because it emancipates us to be able to live a life of gratitude as response to God’s character! 

A literal transliteration of this passage is as follows:

Christ is the language of God’s logic. Let this message sink into you with unlimited vocabulary, taking wisdom to its most complete conclusion. This makes your fellowship an environment of instruction in an atmosphere of music. Every lesson is a reminder, echoing in every song you sing, whether it be a psalm (Raving about God in praise and worship accompanied by musical instruments), or a hymn (a testimony song) or a song in the spirit (a new spontaneous prophetic song). Grace fuels your heart with inspired music to the Lord (The Mirror Bible, p 215)

Lets us Make Music Together as people who allow the Word in it’s fullness and beauty to live in us. Therefore, we are not treating the Word as a renter in our hearts but rather as one who is a homeowner and has the deed of trust to our hearts! When this happens our circumstances may not have changed but our perspective does which leads to a Kingdom way of thinking!

PastorAl

Al Soto has been married to his incredible wife Valerie for 30 years and they have five sons and one grandson. Al has been in Local Church Ministry for 35 years as both as a Lead Pastor, Associate Pastor, and for five years as a Regional Overseer for his denomination. He has a BA degree from LIFE Pacific College and is currently completing an MA in Leadership & Spiritual Formation from Vanguard University. He currently resides in Lincoln, CA
where he is the new Lead Pastor for one of the Campus locations for Bayside Church. He continues to coach High School Football for the Lincoln Fighting Zebras for the Junior Varsity Program and is facilitating Leadership training and coaching as well as facilitating Spiritual Retreats. His hobbies include Golfing and Scuba Diving as well as he is a veracious reader. His Life Statement is “Real Success is Helping others to Succeed!”

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Speaking the Truth in Love to those Who Stumble!

 

Jude 1-20-24

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the most difficult questions that any person serving in leadership wrestles with is how does one respond to believers who continue to practice sin? If you are a person who is in relationship with an individual like this, what steps or action should you take in order to rescue him or her? I would not normally use the word rescue because it often times in unhealthy family systems can have overtones of people crossing boundaries in an unhealthy manner with others. In this context the language of the passage demands this because the audience that the writer is addressing are those who are already believers and the consequences of such sin could be damaging.

 

Great questions from the text always leads to great Bible Study. I will frame my response around four questions:

 

  • First, what is the attitude that God expects you to have regarding these people’s sin?

  

 

The writer tells us to save them “with mercy and fear.” The word mercy literally means to, “Restrain back that which one deserves.” In other words, we understand that based on what Christ has done for us we deserved wrath but he chose to withhold it from us because of the Cross! Thus, the opening exhortation is a Present-Active-Participle which means right now be building yourself in a way that you are guarding your heart.[1] How we do this is to allow ourselves to be immersed in the love of God which extended out mercy to us.

 

This word “fear” is the Greek word phobos. It suggests a fear or a strong dose of respect for something that is life-threatening, dangerous, or alarming.[2] Because the writer uses this key Greek word, it tells us what kind of attitude we should have regarding the chronic sin in a believer’s life. Sin is dangerous, alarming, and even life-threatening to a person’s spiritual life. It also has generational consequences that can be passed on to one’s children. From an attitude of love and mercy we should respond with the truth. I appreciate how Bill Robinson addresses what the truth is, “Biblical faith is a blessed hope we cradle and embrace, not an empirical fact we prove and wield.”[3] Therefore we do not need to wield the truth like a hammer for one who is stumbling we simply need to “Speak the Truth in Love” and allow the Holy Spirit to make one stand in the presence of His glory (v. 24).

 

  • What kind of action does God expect you to take to see them set free?

 

It is in verse 23, that the writer delineates the kind of action we should take when a fellow believer is getting caught up in sin.  This verse tells us that we must act fast to “pull them out of the fire.” This word for pull comes from the Greek word harpadzo. This is an extremely strong and aggressive word that presents the picture of snatching someone out of a dangerous situation[4]. In fact, it would be better translated to seize.[5]

 

The word harpadzo is the very word used in Colossians 1:13 when Paul writes, “Who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of his dear son.” That word for “delivered” is the Greek word hardpadzo. (Renner 2003)[6]  This contains the idea of passion, fervency, urgency, and action.

 

One paraphrase of Jude 1:23 could be, “Because of the alarmingly dangerous state that some believers are in, I urge you to take immediate and fast-acting measures to see them delivered and rescued. And if they don’t quickly respond, don’t stop! You need to keep up your sense of urgency until you are convinced that they are rescued and snatched out of the fire of destruction. If you must go all the way to grab them by the back of their necks and jerk them out of those flames …”[7]

 

  • What approach should you take regarding the sin they are living in?

 

 

The use of the word harpadzo is we should engage with those who are stumbling into sin because over time the sin places one into deception in which they no longer view their behavior as sin. The forceful language of this passage is because the deception blinds them that how they are living is justified and that God does not view anything wrong with their behavior. This is why we need to speak the truth in love.

 

  • What is the proper outlook for you to have concerning their situation?

 

It is important that we understand that we speak the truth in love in order that God’s truth can break in and free them. Have mercy on those who doubt is what the writer declares so that they can be freed by his Holy Spirit. Mercy is a great weapon in the arsenal of God because it is what get’s us to understand that God’s glory which is His opinion is what tends to get lost in sin. How many times have you seen believers caught up in sin become miserable because now they simply live in their own opinion of themselves which is both condemning as well as shaming.

 

There have been many times that I so appreciate leaders who have intervened in my life because I was beginning to get caught up in things that would become destructive to me. The lack of being humble to hear the truth will be always leads us to stumble!

 

 

I think most leaders suffer from hearing too little rather than too much truth. It is worth asking:

 

  • Who is the most reliable truth teller in my circle of relationships?
  • Do I create a warmer climate for truth telling?
  • Do I ever get defensive when I hear the truth? Am I sending mixed messages about how much truth I really want?

 

It is important to understand that “Truth” that functions in an attitude of “Love” and “Mercy” always restores.

 

On June 12, 1964, the falsehood of apartheid handed Nelson Mandela a term of life imprisonment in the Union of South Africa. His only hope was truth. After twenty-six years of incarceration and the efforts of many, truth set Mandela free.

 

President F. W. de Klerk and Mandela reached an agreement, and on February 2, 1990, apartheid was formally lifted. Now, their nation was faced with the question of how to restore justice. Reconciliation without justice leaves a mountain under the rug where hurt and wrong and truth have been swept. Should these crimes against humanity be settled in the retributive justice of a Nuremberg-type tribunals? Nelson Mandela and Bishop Desmond Tutu had fought for truth, sacrificed for truth, and been freed by truth. They knew revenge was incomplete justice, incomplete truth. Restoration for a crime against humanity must restore humanity, not just those directly victimized. So in an astonishing act of grace and unflinching commitment to the truth, they created the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. All those who would come forward and confess fully the truth of their apartheid crimes would be granted amnesty. In modern times, this was truth’s most powerful hour.[8]

 

Truth that is married to Love, Truth and Mercy always restores and redeems not just for those impacted by injustice or their participation in sin but also for generations to come. How many of us have been exposed to the brokenness of people who have witnessed Truth telling in the Church but no love and mercy. Often, they will never attend a church again. The flip side is there are many who were at risk and they experienced Love and Mercy but no Truth and they cannot trust believer’s in the Church because they ask, “Why didn’t any one tell me the truth?

 

Jesus Help us to Love you and others that we will “Speak the Truth in Love” in order to see people rescued and restored!


Footnotes:

[1] (Rogers 1976) p 809.

[2] (Renner 2003) p 41.

[3] (Robinson 2009) p 91

[4] (Renner 2003) p 41.

[5] (Rogers 1976) p 809.

[6] (Renner 2003) p 41.

[7] (Renner 2003) p 41-42.

[8] (Robinson 2009) p 92.

 

Works Cited

Renner, Rick. Sparkling Gems From the Greek. Tulsa, Oaklahoma: Teach All Nations, 2003.

Robinson, Bill. Incarnate Leadership: 5 Leadership Lessons from the Life of Jesus. Grand Rapids , Michigan: Zondervan, 2009.

Rogers, Fritz Rienecker & Cleon. Linguistic Key To The Greek New Testament. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1976.

 

 

PastorAl

Al Soto has been married to his incredible wife Valerie for 30 years and they have five sons and one grandson. Al has been in Local Church Ministry for 35 years as both as a Lead Pastor, Associate Pastor, and for five years as a Regional Overseer for his denomination. He has a BA degree from LIFE Pacific College and is currently completing an MA in Leadership & Spiritual Formation from Vanguard University. He currently resides in Lincoln, CA
where he is the new Lead Pastor for one of the Campus locations for Bayside Church. He continues to coach High School Football for the Lincoln Fighting Zebras for the Junior Varsity Program and is facilitating Leadership training and coaching as well as facilitating Spiritual Retreats. His hobbies include Golfing and Scuba Diving as well as he is a veracious reader. His Life Statement is “Real Success is Helping others to Succeed!”

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Insight Beyond Your own Sight: Ephesians 1:17

Ephesians 1-17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today, in my Daily office this is the verse that I focused on for my time of Lectio Devina. As a leader, husband, father, and grandfather, I am always needing the insight that can only come from insight that is far greater than my own. The word for wisdom in this verse is the Greek word sophias. It is an old Greek word that was used to describe insight or wisdom not naturally attained.[1]

 

The word for revelation is from the Greek word “apokalupsis.”  It refers to something that has been veiled or hidden for a long time and then suddenly, almost instantaneously, becomes clear and visible to the mind or eye.[2]

 

I am on a journey of discernment for direction in the stages of ministry and leadership for my life. There are so many times that I can open the bible and look at a passage of Scripture and all of a sudden something just jumps out at me that I have never seen before.

 

There is no doubt that truth’s can remain hidden until God chooses to reveal them to us. Thus, this is way Paul prayed for God “to give” the Ephesians church a spirit of wisdom and revelation. The phrase “to give” comes from the didiomi which is used to express a wish or a desire.[3]

 

Because the Ephesian Church needed wisdom beyond their own human understanding, Paul asked God to give them “Special Insight beyond their own Sight!” Then the Apostle Paul clarifies what he meant by adding the word “revelation” One expositor has said the verse could be better translated to “give unto you a spirit of wisdom, even revelation!”[4]

 

Evangelicals tend to not want to deal with the idea of revelation because the concern is that historically some have created theological systems in which individuals have placed personal revelation at the same degree of divine inspiration as the Scripture. Though I am very sensitive to this and would never desire to go down a path that would elevate any of my perceived notions or understanding of Divine Truth to be placed at the same level of Inspiration of Scripture there are times that a truth jumps out at you that would lead to some specific point of obedience that one must respond too. This is what makes preaching and teaching of the Word prophetic. You can be teaching a portion of Scripture and the Holy Spirit gives unique and personal application of that Scripture to each hearer.

 

This verse can be translated: “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you special insight – I’m talking about wisdom that is not naturally attained. This is a divine moment when the curtains are drawn back, and you are supernaturally enabled to see what you could never see by yourself …”[5]

A new tool that I have been using in my time in the Scripture is the Mirror Bible. I like the transliteration it gives to this verse because the Apostle Paul is wanting this prayer to crescendo as Doxology. It could read as follows:

 

“I desire that you will draw directly from the source; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory ignites the spirit of wisdom and of revelation in you in the unveiling of his Master Plan. I desire that you know by revelation what he has known about you all along.”[6]

 

How amazing is this that God’s glory was meant for us and it literally means “the opinion of God?”

God desires that we know what His opinion of us really is!


Footnotes:

[1] (Renner 2003) p 39.

[2] (Renner 2003) p 39.

[3] (Rogers 1976) p 523.

[4] (Renner 2003) p 40.

[5] (Renner 2003) p 40.

[6] (Toit 2012) p 174.

 

Works Cited

Renner, Rick. 2003. Sparkling Gems from the Greek. Tulsa, Oaklahoma: Tean All Nations.

Rogers, Fritz Rienecker & Cleon. 1976. Linguistic Key to the Greek New Testament. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House.

Toit, Francois du. 2012. Mirror Bible. Hermanus: Mirror Word Publishing.

PastorAl

Al Soto has been married to his incredible wife Valerie for 30 years and they have five sons and one grandson. Al has been in Local Church Ministry for 35 years as both as a Lead Pastor, Associate Pastor, and for five years as a Regional Overseer for his denomination. He has a BA degree from LIFE Pacific College and is currently completing an MA in Leadership & Spiritual Formation from Vanguard University. He currently resides in Lincoln, CA
where he is the new Lead Pastor for one of the Campus locations for Bayside Church. He continues to coach High School Football for the Lincoln Fighting Zebras for the Junior Varsity Program and is facilitating Leadership training and coaching as well as facilitating Spiritual Retreats. His hobbies include Golfing and Scuba Diving as well as he is a veracious reader. His Life Statement is “Real Success is Helping others to Succeed!”

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Vanguard University Scripted a Great Message to Students for MLK!

insidevu_fa15_special2

 

 

 

I admit it … I am an Alumnus of the Graduate MA program from Vanguard University and I love this school. If we were talking undergraduate programs I would giving a shout out to “LIFE Pacific College!” It has been my experience that outside from the History Channel covering special holidays such as “Presidents Birthday’s” most people are not so much contemplating the meaning of the National Holiday as much as they are wondering if they get a day-off from the routine of the job. I open my email and I get a special announcement to all the graduate students at Vanguard University concerning “Martin Luther King Day!” The message that is scripted is both brilliant as well as it caused me to reflect what this day really means that came at the cost of a man becoming a “Modern Day Martyr!” The historian George Santayana once stated, “That those who forget histories mistakes will be condemned to repeat them.” In a world that is being fractured by so many of life issues whether it be politics or social and religious strife-this article caused me to pause and ask the question: “How can I in my actions make a difference engaging with people from a different ethnicity?” It is my hope you enjoy this simple note and Great Job “Vanguard University Communications Department!” 

 

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., championed for the respect and civil rights of all people.  He committed his life to fighting for the equality of people old, young, rich, poor, Catholic, Protestant, and male and female of every race.  Dr. King demonstrated the words he preached by publicly countering hate with love, brutality with non-violence and oppression with empowerment.

 

As a Baptist preacher, Reverend King used the Biblical teachings of love, mercy and forgiveness as the basis for his stand against racism and injustice.  He sought to breakdown the strongholds of hate and prejudice by building unity across racial differences and religious denominations.  Dr. King was most influential because he led by example and worked alongside those he inspired to challenge officials and laws enforcing segregation, bigotry and violence against others.

A famous quote of Reverend King states, “In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”  Today you are challenged to take Dr. King’s statement to heart and be a friend willing to lend your voice.   Do not shrink back in silence when an inappropriate joke is told, a hurtful stereotype is perpetuated, or a racial slur is uttered.  As Dr. King said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” Today, throughout this month, or for the duration of this semester find ways to share the story of those often silenced, marginalized and disregarded.  Be a champion for someone else!

This holiday weekend, make a commitment to demonstrate your belief in the Biblical teachings and Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s example of love, empathy, courage, grace, forgiveness, and justice.  Do your part to make Dr. King’s infamous dream a reality in the 21st century and for generations to come.

______________________________________________________________

Reprinted from the Vanguard University Email Message, Friday, January 15, 2016, 8:26 am. If you are interested in the Vanguard University MA Religion in Leadership & Spiritual Formation you can check their web page at www.vanguard.edu/graduatereligion/

PastorAl

Al Soto has been married to his incredible wife Valerie for 30 years and they have five sons and one grandson. Al has been in Local Church Ministry for 35 years as both as a Lead Pastor, Associate Pastor, and for five years as a Regional Overseer for his denomination. He has a BA degree from LIFE Pacific College and is currently completing an MA in Leadership & Spiritual Formation from Vanguard University. He currently resides in Lincoln, CA
where he is the new Lead Pastor for one of the Campus locations for Bayside Church. He continues to coach High School Football for the Lincoln Fighting Zebras for the Junior Varsity Program and is facilitating Leadership training and coaching as well as facilitating Spiritual Retreats. His hobbies include Golfing and Scuba Diving as well as he is a veracious reader. His Life Statement is “Real Success is Helping others to Succeed!”

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Multisite 2016: What’s New and What’s Next? – OutreachMagazine.com OutreachMagazine.com

 

By Jim Tomberlin

• December 31, 2015

 

Emerging trends from a dynamic movement in its third decade.

RECENT STORIES Multisite 2016: What’s New and What’s Next?
Emerging trends from a dynamic movement in its third decade.

 

When I started down the multisite path as a senior pastor in Colorado in the 1990s, multisite was a radical idea. In the first decade of the 21st century multisite became a cool idea among large, cutting-edge churches. By the second decade of this century multisite has become the mainstream idea among healthy, growing churches of all sizes.

This radical idea has spawned a movement of more than 5 million people attending one of the 5,000+ multisite churches across North America and it is not slowing down. This game-changing movement is comprised of nondenominational and denominational churches that gather in urban, suburban and rural communities. Here are some trends emerging out of this dynamic movement now in the middle of its third decade.

Movement is the New Radical

The multisite movement is standing at the frontier of another paradigm shift. A small but growing number of radical multisite churches are going beyond adding one or two campuses, to multiplying exponentially in fulfilling Jesus’ call to make new disciples. There is an explosion of church network movements through multisiting and church planting that will have the strength of centralizing resources without the bureaucratic weight of past denominations. These radical multisite churches are operating out of a multiplication culture that is reproducing disciples and campuses at an accelerating rate. These radical churches are led by leaders with an apostolic impulse who birth multisite campuses, plant churches and keep a multiplication scorecard. Some have the potential to become a movement-making multisite church.

Microsites Are the New Big

Microsites are best described as the cross between multisites and house churches, but this is not a throwback to the anti-church house-church movement of the past, but more about taking church further, faster and cheaper than the typical big-box multisite strategy. Micrositing is a missional small group, outreach strategy that utilizes video worship and sermons to extend the reach of a church. They meet in homes, retirement centers, homeless shelters, bars, gyms, AA clubs, businesses—any place a small group can gather. It is more than a small group, but less than a fully functioning congregation. They tend to be video-based and centrally governed with the ultimate goal of becoming a full-blown congregation.

Mergers Are the New Normal

Church mergers are occurring in an unprecedented way today and becoming a viable option for healthy as well as stuck or struggling churches. These mergers are more mission-driven and future-focused as opposed to the failed mergers of the past that were more survival-driven and focused on preserving the past. Progressive denominational leaders are seeing the opportunities to grow their strong churches and salvage their struggling churches through mission-driven multisite mergers. Church planters are acquiring permanent facilities and church growth through a merger. A growing number of churches have experienced senior pastor succession through a church merger. Mergers that have a multisite outcome report a higher success rate and satisfaction factor than mergers that unite into one location.

Online Campuses Are Mainstreaming

Online campuses are interactive virtual church experiences that are becoming the norm for multisite churches that are tech-savvy and outreach oriented. With globalization through the Internet and the explosion of social media, online campuses are becoming fully integrated into the life and strategy of local churches. No longer a techie experiment, online campuses function more like a multisite campus with a dedicated campus pastor, multiple experiences throughout the week and lots of volunteers.

Name Changing is Growing

Churches are changing their name because it either has cultural baggage or it is geographically limiting for a multisite strategy. These new names are typically shorter and without a denominational label.

Constitution and Bylaws Are Changing

With the increase of larger churches, church mergers and church name changes, churches are discovering that their constitution and bylaws are woefully antiquated and outdated. Even though changing constitutions and bylaws can be very contentious, more churches are rewriting their bylaws to accommodate the new realities of the 21st century.

Churches Are Getting Bigger

Even though the majority of churches in America are struggling and church attendance is in decline nationwide, multisite churches are getting bigger. There are nearly a hundred gigachurches with over 10,000 in weekend attendance. Most of them are multisite churches. One multisite church broke 100,000 in weekend attendance in 2015 becoming America’s first terabyte church.

How is the multisite movement changing your church?

Jim Tomberlin is founder and senior consultant of MultiSite Solutions, a company dedicated to assisting churches in maximizing their redemptive potential through intensive and insightful multisite and church merger consultation. He is the author of 125 Tips for MultiSite Churches; Better Together: Making Church Merger Work; and Church Locality: New Rules for Church Buildings in a Multisite, Church Planting and Gigachurch World.

via Multisite 2016: What’s New and What’s Next? – OutreachMagazine.com OutreachMagazine.com.

PastorAl

Al Soto has been married to his incredible wife Valerie for 30 years and they have five sons and one grandson. Al has been in Local Church Ministry for 35 years as both as a Lead Pastor, Associate Pastor, and for five years as a Regional Overseer for his denomination. He has a BA degree from LIFE Pacific College and is currently completing an MA in Leadership & Spiritual Formation from Vanguard University. He currently resides in Lincoln, CA
where he is the new Lead Pastor for one of the Campus locations for Bayside Church. He continues to coach High School Football for the Lincoln Fighting Zebras for the Junior Varsity Program and is facilitating Leadership training and coaching as well as facilitating Spiritual Retreats. His hobbies include Golfing and Scuba Diving as well as he is a veracious reader. His Life Statement is “Real Success is Helping others to Succeed!”

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Five Practices Churches Need to take Seriously -So Newcomers Take You Seriously!

 

im-serious-tshirt-box_large

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have been able to have the opportunity to visit a few churches in the past six month’s and it has been my observation that larger churches are very serious about how they do the five practices that I am going to present and smaller churches just do not have these practices on their radar. It is my conviction that these five practices are game changers to both numerical as well as spiritual growth and maturity in their churches.

Here are the five practices:

1# Speak and use language that does not alienate newcomers. 

If you want to understand how newcomers feel coming to our churches just visit a church and you will get the opportunity to experience this at an all new personal level. When churches have to pass out a “LEXICON” defining their own unique language or when the person who is doing the announcements states, “If you have been here for more than a year you understand what I am saying” you have entered the twilight zone of a churches particular use of coded messages. At one church I leaned over to a colleague and asked if there was a special decoder ring that newcomers receive at the information table? If we love people the way that Jesus desires us to love them we should speak in a language that they understand. 

2# A hand shake and a smile while being given a bulletin does not make you a friendly church. 

It has been my consistent experience that churches practice “Customer service by playing their version of Marco Polo.” I have never experienced what it meant to be so invisible until I became a visitor. At one church I had to attempt to engage three ushers before I was told where the restrooms were located. At another church my wife and I visited it was announced that some of the church elders would be in the lobby to connect with people. We walked up to an elder and introduced ourselves and after stating our name and where we lived the elder stated that he had to go and speak to a friend about a fishing trip they were going on that week. I have come up with a simple theory: “If a church leaders constantly talk about how friendly their church is -they are not very friendly!” The blind spot is all the insiders are friendly with each other and this becomes the filter that defines their reality. Hospitality and friendliness have to be an intentional priority in shaping a churches culture. By the way – Hospitality should begin in the parking lot. People will attend wherever they receive great customer service. You may be thinking to yourself – “Al, there you go using that secular organizational stuff and you want to speak of visitors in terms os customers.” “Your RIGHT!” The Scripture using the inspired words that were were written by the Apostle Paul identifies every man, woman, and child as God’s Masterpiece! All the more reason why this should be taken seriously.Ephesians-2-10-For-we-are-His-masterpiece-created-in-Christ-Jesus-for-good-works-which-God-prepared-beforehand-in-order-that-we-would-walk-in-them

3# Be organized and timely with checking children into their classes. 

My wife has had some unique experiences with one. At one church attempting to check our grandson into their children’s ministry it took her thirty minutes and even after she checked him in she was not quite sure what was going to happen to him because the gentleman who was doing the check-in admitted that he knew nothing about the ministry he was just filling in because someone was sick. If a church does not do children well it doers not matter how great the message is or if the music is great people will not stay. This is their precious cargo and they want to know if you really do care!

4# Great theology does not make up for poor flow and programming. 

I have been to churches where you know the pastor spent some time preparing the message and it was excellent. What made it difficult was the rest of the service. Worship services in which you cannot hear the voices or they repeat the chorus of a song a dozen times and this is considered great worship. Announcements that were too long and done with no energy. Offerings that made you feel you were visiting the blood bank because the person receiving the offering is making more excuses why they do not want to ask for money but it is so necessary. There is nothing more distracting when you are in a service and you have no clue what to do next because under the guise of being creative it feels like they are making it up as they go!  “Well organized worship services create an atmosphere of anticipation not anxiety to those who are attending.” 

5# Is it evident that there is more than the Lead Pastor involved in significant ministry. 

I am convinced God loves small churches and that is why there are many of them. I am also convinced that some churches just by experiencing who is involved in a service that they do not do church as a team. There is a principle for growing churches by growing leaders and it is called the pyramid principle. It goes like this: The base of the pyramid needs to be broad enough in order to allow the height of a church or organization grow. I will write more fully in a future blog post but my experience has led me to believe that many churches are not doing team but groups that really have no voice into the shaping of how the mission is accomplished. When you attend a church and the Pastor is referred to as being the lightening rod for every decision it scares me. Strong churches have strong leaders who reproduce many other strong leaders.

This has been my observations over the past six month’s and I would enjoy to read any feedback that you may have concerning any of these areas that I have posted. I love the church and often times it is the small things that become the biggest road blocks for churches becoming attractive places for newcomers to feel welcome.

PastorAl

Al Soto has been married to his incredible wife Valerie for 30 years and they have five sons and one grandson. Al has been in Local Church Ministry for 35 years as both as a Lead Pastor, Associate Pastor, and for five years as a Regional Overseer for his denomination. He has a BA degree from LIFE Pacific College and is currently completing an MA in Leadership & Spiritual Formation from Vanguard University. He currently resides in Lincoln, CA
where he is the new Lead Pastor for one of the Campus locations for Bayside Church. He continues to coach High School Football for the Lincoln Fighting Zebras for the Junior Varsity Program and is facilitating Leadership training and coaching as well as facilitating Spiritual Retreats. His hobbies include Golfing and Scuba Diving as well as he is a veracious reader. His Life Statement is “Real Success is Helping others to Succeed!”

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“CULTURE TRUMPS VISION!”

 

Cracking Your church's Culture Code

I teach at EPIC Bible College and Graduate School which is located in Sacramento, California and the Academic Dean, Greg Hartley PhD, referred me to read a great book concerning Church Culture because he knew I have been assisting a church as their “Transition Pastor” that has experienced a challenging previous season as a a congregation. The book is entitled, “Cracking Your Church’s Culture Code: Seven Keys to Unleashing Vision & Inspiration”  In his book he identify’s the characteristics of five types of church cultures.

They are:

  1. Inspiring
  • Inspiring cultures create an atmosphere where staff and volunteers bring their “A” game every day.
  • Inspiring cultures are built on trust and respect.
  • Authority is decentralized and the direction is clear.
  • Inspiring cultures place a high value on creating a healthy culture and developing people on the team.
  • They have high but realistic expectations.
  • Creativity is rewarded and failure is viewed as a stepping stone for growth.
  • Turf wars are eliminated and synergy is evident.
  • Stories of success are frequently celebrated.

 

  1. Accepting
  • Accepting cultures are generally positive but some difficult decisions are avoided which creates tension on the team.
  • They typically have clear goals and strong relationships.
  • Generally, most people are supportive of the other folks on the team.
  • They tend to allow incompetent leaders to remain in their role too long.
  • Accepting cultures do invest in developing people and building the culture but not to the extent that inspiring cultures do so.

 

  1. Stagnant
  • Stagnant cultures often start strong but over time they lose energy and begin to stagnate.
  • Team members are only valued when they produce. Very little praise is based on the character of the team.
  • Team members tolerate their leaders, but don’t trust or respect them.
  • People tend to protect their turf, fight for power, and limit communication.
  • Complaining becomes the norm and small problems quickly escalate.
  • Leaders try to control their team by micromanaging them.
  • The status quo is accepted and responsibility is avoided.

 

  1. Discouraging
  • Discouraging cultures suck the life out of their people.
  • They live with unresolved problems and unhealed wounds.
  • Self preservation and self protection is prevalent.
  • The organization becomes all about the power and prestige of the top leaders.
  • People spend more time trying to survive power struggles then they spend doing the work of ministry.
  • Supervisors use threats and their authority to demand compliance and loyalty.
  • It is extremely difficult to implement a new vision because nobody cares.

 

  1. Toxic
  • Toxic cultures create a “closed system” where no new ideas or advice are allowed in.
  • They breed bad ideas, bad behaviors, and bad values.
  • People are expected to do as they are told…nothing less and nothing else.
  • They have high expectation of team members but offer no autonomy to make decisions.
  • Fear dominates the organization.
  • Open turf wars are accepted which results in suspicion and resentment throughout the team.
  • Leaders delegate responsibility without authority.
  • Creativity and risk are seen as threats.

It is my assessment with 35 years of pastoral leadership that the development of a “Healthy Culture” is not the focus for many leaders because it takes work that demands that people emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually unpack their own suitcases from their own family of origin in order to be intentional a healthy broader culture. Dr. Samuel Chand when discussing the process of a church or organization developing a healthy strategy states that leadership team members must, “Accept responsibility for what we can control – and make a steadfast commitment not to complain about what’s outside our control.” These are the crucial ingredients in spiritual, emotional, and relational health. 

I am interested in your thoughts if you are reading this blog post. Which of the five types of cultures defines your church right now? What are some of the mindsets that your culture tend to infect the people in your church (e.g. Lack of Trust in Leadership, Fear, Insecurity)? Finally, what are the behaviors that you as a leader need to begin to change that is adding to the Culture either being healthy or unhealthy?

One thing is certain: “If God is the source of power for people to experience recovery He is also the source for churches to experience recovery.”

PastorAl

Al Soto has been married to his incredible wife Valerie for 30 years and they have five sons and one grandson. Al has been in Local Church Ministry for 35 years as both as a Lead Pastor, Associate Pastor, and for five years as a Regional Overseer for his denomination. He has a BA degree from LIFE Pacific College and is currently completing an MA in Leadership & Spiritual Formation from Vanguard University. He currently resides in Lincoln, CA
where he is the new Lead Pastor for one of the Campus locations for Bayside Church. He continues to coach High School Football for the Lincoln Fighting Zebras for the Junior Varsity Program and is facilitating Leadership training and coaching as well as facilitating Spiritual Retreats. His hobbies include Golfing and Scuba Diving as well as he is a veracious reader. His Life Statement is “Real Success is Helping others to Succeed!”

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Sermon: Updating the Heart!/Expository Message Series in the Book of Nehemiah Part 4 of 9

“UPDATING THE HEART!”

“And I told them how the hand of my God had been favorable to me, and also about the king’s words which he had spoken to me.”

(Nehemiah 2:18a)

 

“Then they said, “Let us arise and build.” So they put their hands to the good work.” (Nehemiah 2:18b)

John 13:34-35

“When he had gone, Jesus spoke, “Now comes the glory of the Son of Man, and the glory of God in him! If God is glorified through him then God will glorify the Son of Man—and that without delay. Oh, my children, I am with you such a short time! You will look for me and I have to tell you as I told the Jews, ‘Where I am going, you cannot follow.’ Now I am giving you a new command—love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you must love one another. This is how all men will know that you are my disciples, because you have such love for one another.”

(John 13:34-35, Phillips New Testament)

Introduction:

Several Assumptions Concerning Maturity:

“Jesus is history’s most familiar figure. His impact on the world is immense and non-accidental.”

 

 

 

To love Like Jesus we have to embrace the truth that emotional and spiritual maturity is inseparable.

 

 

 

  1. In our Character: This speaks of our Personal Wholeness – Authenticates our Credibility.
  2. In our passion: This speaks of our created Purpose – increases our capacity to Serve others.

 

 

 

Some characteristics of a Mature Person

 

  • Is Positive under pressure.

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”

(James 1:2-4, NLT)

How do you handle trials? How you react under pressure is the first test of Maturity. Do you grumble and gripe?

 

  • Is Sensitive to other People:

“Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (James 2:8, NLT)

Do you have issues with gender or age?

 

  • Has Mastered the Mouth:

“If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless.” (James 1:2, NLT)

“Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”

Eph. 4:29, NLT)

 

  • Is a Peacemaker not a Troublemaker:

“Pride only breeds quarrels,” (Prov. 13:10, NLT)

Principle: We are all a people in process. (Not about Perfection it’s Progress).

 

  1. In our relationships: This speaks of our capacity to be Jesus – Transforms us to daily live our story.

 

  1. Principle(s): Everyone should be treated with dignity and

Everyone who knows Christ has a story to live.

Application:

  1. Let’s Live with No Reserves – Be Challenged to grow in from the inside/out!
  2. Let’s Live with No Retreats – Get Rid of those familiar things that keep you Stuck!
  3. Let’s Live with No Regrets – Embrace Obedience- have Your Heart Ache over the Things that God’s Heart Aches For.

 

If you have any questions or feedback to today’s message please email Pastor Al Soto at al@recreatechurch.com

 

 

 

PastorAl

Al Soto has been married to his incredible wife Valerie for 30 years and they have five sons and one grandson. Al has been in Local Church Ministry for 35 years as both as a Lead Pastor, Associate Pastor, and for five years as a Regional Overseer for his denomination. He has a BA degree from LIFE Pacific College and is currently completing an MA in Leadership & Spiritual Formation from Vanguard University. He currently resides in Lincoln, CA
where he is the new Lead Pastor for one of the Campus locations for Bayside Church. He continues to coach High School Football for the Lincoln Fighting Zebras for the Junior Varsity Program and is facilitating Leadership training and coaching as well as facilitating Spiritual Retreats. His hobbies include Golfing and Scuba Diving as well as he is a veracious reader. His Life Statement is “Real Success is Helping others to Succeed!”

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Sermon: Connected Online – FAITH!/ Expository Message Series in the Book of Nehemiah Part 3 of 9

Catching A Fresh Vision From God For Your Life!

“Without Vision – the People Perish”   – Solomon

 

“He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.‘” 

REVELATION 21:5 (NASB)

 

INTRO – THE BENEFITS

 

  1. Replaces DESPAIR WITH ENCOURAGEMENT

“Then I said to them, ‘You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.'”  Nehemiah 2:17

 

Let’s your Hopes – Not your Hurts shape your Future

“The God of heaven will give us success; therefore we His servants will arise and build…”  Nehemiah 2:20 (NASB)

 

  1. Prevents STAGNATION

 

  1. Keeps me Dependent on God

Jehoshaphat – “We have no power to face this vast army….We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.”  2 CHRONICLES 20:12

 

  1. Creates PURPOSE AND PASSION

“Never be lacking in zeal, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.”  ROMANS 12:11 (RJV)

 

  1. Gives God the opportunity to pull off a MIRACLE

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory.” 

Ephesians 3:20-21 (RJV)

 

2 In the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was brought for him, I took the wine and gave it to the king. I had not been sad in his presence before,so the king asked me, “Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart.”

I was very much afraid, but I said to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should my face not look sad when the city where my ancestors are buried lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?”

The king said to me, “What is it you want?” Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king, “If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my ancestors are buried so that I can rebuild it.”

Then the king, with the queen sitting beside him, asked me, “How long will your journey take, and when will you get back?” It pleased the king to send me; so I set a time.I also said to him, “If it pleases the king, may I have letters to the governors of Trans-Euphrates, so that they will provide me safe-conduct until I arrive in Judah? And may I have a letter to Asaph, keeper of the royal park, so he will give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel by the temple and for the city wall and for the residence I will occupy?” And because the gracious hand of my God was on me, the king granted my requests. So I went to the governors of Trans-Euphrates and gave them the king’s letters. The king had also sent army officers and cavalry with me.

 

 

TWO ESSENTIALS THAT FAITH CONNECTS US WITH!

 

  1. FAITH CONNECTS US WITH COURAGE THAT REFUSES TO SETTLE.

 

 

The Challenges to Faith Reveal the Character that is already in you!

 

James 1 (Msg)

2-4 Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely.

 

What Faith is NOT?

  • Faith is not a power or a force.
  • Faith is not a vehicle we can coerce God into something against His will.
  • Faith is not something that allows me to be the center of the Universe.

What Faith IS?

  • Faith is an expression of confidence in the person and character of God.
  • Faith is the proper response to the promises of God.

What does our exercising faith MEAN?

  • Embracing and owning a vision is in itself an act of faith.
  • Faith creates a legacy beyond you.

 

“Then the king said to me, “What would you request?”

(Nehemiah 2:4a)

      

 

Application:

 

If you want to show God your ultimate expression of devotion, admiration, and adoration, act on your faith.  This means making life decisions based on what He has claimed about Himself.

 

I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”  2 Timothy 1:6-7

 

IT IS TIME TO PULL OUT ALL THE STOPS!

 

  1. FAITH CONNECTS US TO DEPENDENCY IN GOD AND FREES US FROM SELF-SUFFICIENCY.

 

Key Principles: Few things distort our perspective like public success. Few things can build pride like false humility.

 

And because the gracious hand of my God was on me, the king granted my requests. So I went to the governors of Trans-Euphrates and gave them the king’s letters. The king had also sent army officers and cavalry with me.

(Nehemiah 2:8-9)

 

Several Sign Posts on Your Journey:

 

To the degree that you Know God’s Character by Knowing God’s Word is what will set the thermostat of your faith.

 

The bigger the vision, the more important is that your faith be grounded in His ability, not yours.

 

Before God can entrust you with the rewards that accompany success, you must be dependent.

 

THE RESULT

 

God will lead you to do things

Never Done Before

Only when I go Ways I have not been before… 

Will I get to Places I have never been before…

 

“You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”  2 TIMOTHY 2:1 

 

 

IT IS TIME TO TAKE THE LEAP OF FAITH!

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:

 

7 MEMORY VERSES TO

RECHARGE YOUR SPIRIT!

 

JEREMIAH 29:11

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you

and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”

 

PHILIPPIANS 1:6

“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on

to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

 

JONAH 3:1

“Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time.”

 

EPHESIANS 3:20-21

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,

according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church

and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

 

 

NEHEMIAH 2:20 (NASB)

“The God of heaven will give us success;

therefore we His servants will arise and build.” 

 

2 TIMOTHY 1:7

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power,

of love and of self-discipline.”

 

REVELATION 21:5 (NASB)

“He who sits on the throne said,

‘Behold, I am making all things new.'” 

 

 

PastorAl

Al Soto has been married to his incredible wife Valerie for 30 years and they have five sons and one grandson. Al has been in Local Church Ministry for 35 years as both as a Lead Pastor, Associate Pastor, and for five years as a Regional Overseer for his denomination. He has a BA degree from LIFE Pacific College and is currently completing an MA in Leadership & Spiritual Formation from Vanguard University. He currently resides in Lincoln, CA
where he is the new Lead Pastor for one of the Campus locations for Bayside Church. He continues to coach High School Football for the Lincoln Fighting Zebras for the Junior Varsity Program and is facilitating Leadership training and coaching as well as facilitating Spiritual Retreats. His hobbies include Golfing and Scuba Diving as well as he is a veracious reader. His Life Statement is “Real Success is Helping others to Succeed!”

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Sermon: A Fragmented Hard Drive/Expository Message Series in the Book of Nehemiah Part 2 of 9

A Fragmented Hard-Drive

 NEHEMIAH 1:1-4 

 

Nehemiah 1

Then I said:  “Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my father’s family, have committed against you. We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.

“Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’

 Observations when we have a Fragmented Hard drive (Heart):[1]

 

Observation One: When our Heart is dislocated we have a tendency to pray for miracles. In most situations, it is more appropriate to pray for opportunities.

 

Observation Two: We need to understand the difference between a “vision” and a “dream.”

Dreamers and Visionaries

 

 

 

 

 

Observation Three: We have a passion about the vision going beyond “me” to its impact on the “we.”

 

Goals can be energizing-when you win.

But a vision is more powerful than a goal. A vision is enlivening,

It’s spirit-giving, it’s the guiding force behind all great human endeavors.

Vision is about shared energy, a sense of awe, a sense of possibility.

Benjamin Zander, Conductor,

Boston Philharmonic Orchestra

  1. The Master Strategist
  • What God puts on our hearts will always seem overwhelming at first.
  • God-inspired visions always seem too big for us to handle at first….because they are. We have to consider the source.
  • God had Nehemiah at the right place, doing the right thing, at the right time.
  • God’s building blocks for our vision are our circumstancesregardless of how daunting they might seem at the moment.

 

Key Point:  There is often no tangible or discernible connection between our current circumstances and the vision that God has given us.

 

Romans 8:26-28 NIV

26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches ( To Examine)[1] our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love (to cooperate with a higher purpose)[2]  him, who have been called[3] according to his purpose (.the call of God originates in God’s purpose not ours. The call of God is not a response to anything we purposed to do. God has his own high and holy purposes that govern whom he calls, and his call accords with these purposes not with ours)[4].

 

Romans 8:28 (MSG)

26-28 Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

 

Key Point:  It is not necessarily a problem that you currently do not understand why you are not where you assume you ought to be.

 

Personal Application: Where are you struggling to trust God with something that He has called you to do that is challenging your comfort zone?

 

  1. The True Definition of Success
  • Success is remaining faithful to the process that God has laid out for you.
  • If you are where God wants you, doing what He has asked you to do, then you are successful. 
  • You are a success when you choose to show up for duty every day.

 

Nehemiah 1

10 “They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand. 11 Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.” I was cupbearer to the king.

  • Nehemiah was successful long before he was known, because he did everything he could to advance the vision that God had given him.

 

Key Point:  We confuse the process of success with the rewards of success.  When we don’t experience the rewards right away, we can give in and give up.

 

Personal Application: What are the areas that you want to take matters into your hands rather than trust God?

 

III. When What Precedes How

  • We will usually know what God wants us to do before He shows us how He will do it.
  • God had a plan—the what–for rebuilding the wall. Nehemiah become the who, to whom He showed the how.
  • What God originates, God orchestrates. “How” is His specialty?

 

Luke 1:3  (NASB)

37 For nothing will be impossible with God.”

When God gives us a vision, we can live with expectancy. We train ourselves to look for His presence, His handiwork—because we know that we are entirely dependent on it.

 

Philippians 4:13 (NIV)

13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

 

John 15:5 (NIV)

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

 

Key Point: Of course, we can do plenty on our own, but probably nothing of eternal significance or consequence.

 

Personal Application: What is the one thing you need to change right now in your priorities to stop being fragmented in your heart?

 

________________________________________________________ 

 

Notes:

 

(3) Differing Translations

That is the meaning of the all-time favorite verse 28: “We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose.” The versions differ a little bit here. The NASB says, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose.” And the KJV says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

Same Basic Point

From my study I am inclined to view the KJV as the most faithful to the original wording of Paul. But the difference is not so great that you have to take my word for it I think. All the versions mean basically that God is so supremely in charge of the world that all the things that happen to Christians are ordered in such a way that they serve our good. Tribulation and distress and persecution and famine and nakedness and peril and sword all work together for the good of those who love God.

So the rugged hope of the believer is not that we will escape distress or peril or hunger or slaughter, but that Almighty God will make every one of our agonies an instrument of his mercy to do us good. “You meant it for evil,” Joseph said to his brothers who had sold him into slavery, “but God meant it for good.” And so it is with every calamity of those who love God. God meant it for good!

 

 

 

(4) Note: In OT and NT there are some 700 occurrences of the word as verb, noun or adjective. The principal Heb. root is qr’; in Gk. kalein (with its compounds, and derivatives klētos, ‘called’, and klēsis, ‘calling’), legein and phōnein are used. In both languages other verbs are occasionally rendered by parts of ‘to call’, e.g. ’mr in Is. 5:20, and chrēmutizein in Rom. 7:3.[1]

________________________________________________________ 

References:

 

Piper, John. Called According to His Purpose. Podcast audio. Desiring God. Expository Sermon, 35:25October 13, 1985.

 

Farrer, M. R. W. “Call, Calling.” Edited by D. R. W. Wood, I. H. Marshall, A. R. Millard, J. I. Packer, and D. J. Wiseman. New Bible Dictionary. Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1996.

 

Rienecker, Fritz. Linguistic Key to the Greek New Testament. Edited by Jr. Cleon L. Rogers Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1976. Textual Criticism 1980.

 

Stanley, Andy. Visioneering: God’s Blueprint for Developing and Maintaining Vision.  Colorado Springs, Colorado: Multnomah, 1999.

[1] Fritz Rienecker, Linguistic Key to the Greek New Testament, ed. Jr. Cleon L. Rogers (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1976; repr., 1980), Textual Criticism  p 367.

[2]  ibid. p 367.

[3] Farrer, M. R. W. “Call, Calling.” Edited by D. R. W. Wood, I. H. Marshall, A. R. Millard, J. I. Packer, and D. J. Wiseman. New Bible Dictionary. Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1996.

[4] John Piper, Called According to His Purpose, podcast audio, Desiring God, Expository Sermon, 35:25October 13, 1985.

 

 

 

[1] Andy Stanley, Visioneering: God’s Blueprint for Developing and Maintaining Vision (Colorado Springs, Colorado: Multnomah, 1999). p 42-43.

PastorAl

Al Soto has been married to his incredible wife Valerie for 30 years and they have five sons and one grandson. Al has been in Local Church Ministry for 35 years as both as a Lead Pastor, Associate Pastor, and for five years as a Regional Overseer for his denomination. He has a BA degree from LIFE Pacific College and is currently completing an MA in Leadership & Spiritual Formation from Vanguard University. He currently resides in Lincoln, CA
where he is the new Lead Pastor for one of the Campus locations for Bayside Church. He continues to coach High School Football for the Lincoln Fighting Zebras for the Junior Varsity Program and is facilitating Leadership training and coaching as well as facilitating Spiritual Retreats. His hobbies include Golfing and Scuba Diving as well as he is a veracious reader. His Life Statement is “Real Success is Helping others to Succeed!”

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